The “Jeopardy!” Professor’s Tournament has finally reached its conclusion!
The two-week tournament, hosted by Mayim Bialik, featured fifteen American professors competing to become the winner of the first-ever Professor’s Tournament. Although there were professors from subjects ranging from French Literature to Musicology, twelve contestants were eliminated to leave only three finalists standing.
They were Alisa Hove, a botany professor at Warren Wilson College; Ed Hashima, a history professor at American River College; and Sam Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School.
The final day round lasted two days, which meant that the highest cumulative final score combined from Thursday and Friday’s games would result in the first-ever winner of the Professor’s Tournament.
‘Jeopardy!’ Finals: Day One
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The first “Jeopardy!” round featured clues from geographic nicknames to fashion to classic movies. Going into the “Double Jeopardy!” round, Sam was leading with an impressive $7,200. Ed was not far behind, sitting at $4,600, and Alisa was at $1,400.
In the second “Jeopardy!” round, the categories featured literary museums, protest songs, and mirror-image words to befuddle the contestants. Sam continued to impress and gained a steady lead going into “Final Jeopardy!” with $23,200. Ed had $9,800 and Alisa only had $6,400.
The final answer was in the category of World War II Geography: “Body-of-water battles included the Coral Sea, Philippine Sea & this one that allowed Japan to seize Jakarta.”
For the third straight game, no one answered the final question correctly. The correct answer was: “What is the Java Sea?”
Alisa went from $6,400 to $3,800. Ed went from $9,800 to $4,600. Sam dropped from $23,200 to $20,000, earning an impressive lead going into the game’s final day.
‘Jeopardy!’ Finals: Day Two
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On the second day, the “Jeopardy!” round began with categories such as the history of England, percussion instruments, and movie taglines. Going into “Double Jeopardy!”, Sam had $6,800, Ed had $5,200, and Alisa had $3,000.
In the second “Jeopardy!” round, the categories were law, poetic objects, celebrities, and Latin mottoes and phrases. The round was a tight race between Ed and Sam fighting for the lead. Going into the “Final Jeopardy!” round, Ed was actually leading Sam with $15,300 to Sam’s $13,600.
Alisa finished the round with -$1,800, earning her third place and a prize total of $25,000 dollars.
The category for the “Final Jeopardy!” round was French Artists: “The catalog of MOMA’s first exhibition called this artist who died in 1891 a ‘man of science’ & ‘inventor of a method.'”
Only Sam gave the correct answer: “Who is Seurat?” which added $2,000 to his score. He finished at $15,600 for a two-day total of $35,600.
Ed bet big and lost $13,700 and ended up with $1,700 for a final two-day score of $6,300, which earned him $50,000 dollars for second place.
That meant that Sam Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School, was the first-ever winner of the Professor’s Tournament. Not only is Buttrey walking away with the $100,000 dollar grand prize and bragging rights, but he will also be making an appearance in the 2022 Tournament of Champions.
There, he will face off against former contestants such as Matt Amodio, Andrew He, Jonathan Fisher, and Amy Schneider. Schneider will return to her 13-day run on Monday, December 20, with Ken Jennings resuming hosting duties for the rest of the calendar year.
Sony announced earlier this month that Jennings and Bialik will share hosting duties throughout 2022.